We’re previewing each team competing in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series before the 2021 season.
Owner: Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR team. You can see how they arrived at the Stewart-Haas eSports name.
No. 10: Graham Bowlin
Hometown: Houston, TX
First season: 2020
2020 rank: 11th
— Graham A. Bowlin (@BowlinGraham) January 13, 2021
No. 41: Dylan Duval
Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
First season: 2012
2020 rank: 24th
Looking forward to having the opportunity to rebound in the #41 @FordPerformance Mustang, 2021 is our year and I'm ready to get it going.
Let's go! pic.twitter.com/eYaPpgqxAs
— Dylan Duval (@DDuval42) January 13, 2021
Stewart-Haas eSports hit the track with Dylan Duval and Stewart-Haas Racing engineer-by-day Justin Bolton in 2020. Duval, the series veteran, notched a third-place finish at Dover, the team’s only top-five finish of the season. Bolton finished the season ranked 31st after what seemed like impossibly unlucky spells throughout the year — truly, 2020 characterized. He didn’t quite have enough in the tank to return to the Coca-Cola iRacing Series in 2021, so it’s back to Class A after his second stint in the series.
Graham Bowlin spent his rookie season at Joe Gibbs Racing, picking up the win in the All-Star Race and turning heads with his speed (when he wasn’t being sent through the air at the finish of the Daytona season opener).
Graham Bowlin fills Justin Bolton’s abandoned seat, giving Stewart-Haas some promising young blood in the No. 10 car. Bowlin’s still looking for his first win, but if he can dodge the sophomore slump, 2021 could be the year — especially considering his well-rounded results at every type of track.
As for Duval, he’ll reach his 100th series start in 2021. Even though he hasn’t won since 2016, his veteran experience is a differentiator in a field where over a quarter of the drivers are making their series debuts.
Steve’s bold prediction
Given his solid 2020 season where he came home 11th in points, it’s probably not a very bold prediction to say Graham Bowlin will finally bring home that first points-paying win in 2021. He’s shown promise on shorter tracks — Bristol comes to mind, where a lapped car ruined his party while leading — and his two pole positions last year shows he’s got the speed.
I’ll call my shot here: Both drivers make the top 20, and one makes the playoffs. (I won’t say which, just to protect myself. Bowlin’s good, but you can’t count out the first Canadian winner in series history, after all.)
JUST ANNOUNCED@DDuval42 and @BowlinGraham will compete for #SHReSports in the upcoming Coca-Cola @iRacing Series season. Duval will drive the No. 41 entry, while Bowlin will represent @SmithfieldBrand in the No. 10.
— Stewart-Haas eSports (@SHR_eSports) January 13, 2021